Experts offer advice to big lotto winners, 3 win in SC

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Many local lotto hopefuls woke up Thursday morning to the news that neither of the two big winning tickets was purchased in South Carolina.

On the brighter side, there are more than eight million people who won smaller cash prizes.

According to South Carolina Education Lottery officials, there were three tickets sold in the Palmetto State that came within one number of winning Wednesday night's highly anticipated Powerball jackpot drawing for a record $587.5 million.

A Powerball ticket worth $2 million was sold by the H & S Shoppe at 430 E. Main St. in Andrews.

Two $1 million tickets were sold by retailers in Florence and Rock Hill. Cruizers XII at 2124 N. Williston Rd. in Florence and MR Express on 2120 Nations Ford Rd. in Rock Hill were the lucky lottery retail locations.

The six-figure winners matched all five white ball numbers drawn to win $1 million. One of the ticket holders purchased PowerPlay for an extra $1, to have the $1 million Match 5 prize increased to $2 million.

An unprecedented 140,000 winning tickets were sold in the Palmetto State totaling $5.3 million. These winners took home anywhere from $4 up to the $2 million prize.

Last night's winning Powerball white ball numbers were 5, 16, 22, 23, 29 and red Powerball of 6.

For those who still hope to one day hold a winning ticket, there are a few words of advice financial experts say you should keep in mind.

Myrtle Beach resident Scott Reavill bought his Powerball ticket. "I have a financial advisor now so I would just get a lawyer and some other help in figuring out what to do." Local financial expert Patrick Munroe with NorthStar Financial Advisors recommends just that.

Munroe says it's a good idea to hire professionals to help through the process and suggests working with a financial advisor and a lawyer.

He also points out getting a will is very important, so that if something unfortunate was to happen, the money will not be lost.

Monroe also explains that collecting winnings is actually a long process, so winners should give it some time before quitting their jobs.

"Don't commit yourself to something that big wait two years to make any big purchases if you can and learn about the cash flow and the interest it can create in your account before you commit yourself to anything long term," said Munroe.

There are two big yet common mistakes lotto winners tend to make. Munroe says winners should avoid taking the lump sum and says taking could mean losing approximately 60% of the money to taxes. Instead Munroe recommends taking the winnings in a payment form over the years.

Another piece of advice, a winner should try to keep his or her anonymity. Munroe says winners should stay away from major purchases until two years after winning.

Lotto officials say the first thing a winner should do is sign the back of the ticket. If someone loses a ticket before signing it, they no longer have valid ownership of the ticket.

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